BMP Info

BMP Info

BMP Information

Best Management Practices (BMPs) are:

“methods, measures, or practices selected by an agency to meet its nonpoint source control needs. BMPs include but are not limited to structural and nonstructural controls and operation and maintenance procedures. BMPs can be applied before, during and after pollution producing activities to reduce or eliminate the introduction of pollutants into receiving waters”

Lake Tahoe is one of the three clearest lakes of its size in the world. The purity of Lake Tahoe and its tributary streams are what help make Tahoe Basin so unique. The Lake’s unusual water quality contributes to the scenic beauty of the Region, yet it depends today upon a fragile balance among soils, vegetation and man.

The clarity of Lake Tahoe is declining at an alarming rate of over one foot each year, largely due to soil erosion and surface runoff associated with urban development in the Tahoe Basin. At the current rate of decline, it is estimated that Lake Tahoe will lose its blue brilliance in just 10 years.

When a watershed is disturbed and covered with impervious surfaces such as roads, driveways and rooftops, the rain and snowmelt flush sediment and nutrients quickly into the nearest stream or storm drainage system, ultimately ending up in Lake Tahoe.

Once in Lake Tahoe, the sediment causes the water to appear muddy and the nutrients feed algae growth. In order to mitigate water quality impacts associated with developed areas, Best Management Practices (BMPs) are utilized. BMPs are proven methods that prevent sediment and nutrients from entering surface waters.

Best Management Practices vary from site-to-site, and include temporary best management practices and permanent best management practices. Temporary BMPs are utilized to keep sediment on-site when an area is disturbed by construction. Permanent BMPs are utilized to minimize erosion on residential, commercial, and public service properties when they aren’t disturbed by active construction.

The location of your home determines when your property needs the BMPs implemented —there are three different priority watersheds around the lake. Subsequent target dates for full implementation of BMPs are October 15, 2006 for property owners in Priority Two watersheds, and October 15, 2008 for property owners in Priority Three watersheds. Priority One wathersheds were to install BMPs no later than October 15, 2000.


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